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Opinions of Monday, 29 April 2019

Columnist: Kwaku Ogboro

Calling a spade a spade!

Kwaku Ogboro, author Kwaku Ogboro, author

A spade is neither a big spoon nor an elongated spoon. It is what it is – a spade. So a spade cannot be called by any other name but its real name.

Illegal mining, popularly referred to as galamsey, is a menace that has degraded our environment. The destruction of arable land and pollution of water bodies are common features associated with galamsey. Not forgetting the big gullies that often serve as death traps for unsuspecting victims.

It is no secret that the galamsey menace was allowed to fester because successive governments did not have the political will to deal with it. Successive governments paid lip service in tackling the menace as the maggot-infested wound continued to fester.

Many therefore applauded President Nana Dee when he decided to hold the bull by the horn. He boldly proclaimed his determination to fight the menace in order to save our polluted and dying water bodies. He decided to wage a relentless war against the menace at the peril of his political future.

Let no one be deceived; the President will pay for that bold decision. The thousands of ‘galamseyers’ denied a livelihood as result of the galamsey fight will definitely take their pound of flesh in the 2020 polls. It will be the height of political naivety for the Nana Dee government to think the galamsey fight will have no political consequences in 2020.

You see, those affected by the galamsey fight do not look at the bigger picture. They are influenced by their parochial interests, which have clouded their sense of reasoning and patriotism.

Truth be told, the Chinese are top of the chart of foreign nationals engaged in the galamsey business in the country. There have been many instances when Chinese nationals have had the audacity to even shoot and kill our kith and kin, irking our anger in the process. But are the Chinese solely to blame for the galamsey menace?

The answer is a big NO. Indeed, no one could have put it better than the Chinese Ambassador himself. Please, listen to him: “We don’t know where your gold is. We don’t issue visas too for the Chinese people coming to Ghana. Ghanaians issue the visas. Ghanaians aid the Chinese to where they can find your gold. Why are Chinese not doing illegal mining in South Africa where there is also a lot of gold? It is because they cannot do that there and the locals do not support such illegalities”.

Ambassador Wang has hit the nail right on the head. Having stomached the name-calling and finger-pointing at his folks for a very long time, he has finally decided to call a spade a spade and not a big spoon. And he is right! We are our own enemies, not the Chinese or any other national.

Selfishness, greed, ignorance and tomfoolery have blinded our sense of reasoning and patriotism. Many of our chiefs, who are supposed to be the custodians of tradition and patriotism, have fallen prey to selfishness and greed. Many chiefs have thrown the love for country to the dogs and shamelessly support galamsey overtly and covertly. Ambassador Wang’s comparison of our attitude and that of South Africa’s aptly describes us as a bunch of people who have no iota of patriotism in them.

I’m proud to be a descendant of the Great Kwame Okro. But in times like these, I feel ashamed to be a Ghanaian. I felt even more ashamed when Ambassador Wang’s statement coincided with Hon. Osafo Maafo’s gaffe on Aisha Huang’s deportation. Is Osafo Maafo saying he would allow another man to share his wife on his matrimonial bed simply because the man had supported his wedding? It’s a big shame!

Wait a minute! Did you hear the Minority speak on the Osafo Maafo gaffe? These eagle-headed Umbrella folks have no shame at all. Zu-za did practically nothing to stop Aisha Huang from destroying our land and polluting our water bodies. Even if not jailed, Aisha has been deported by this government and our country saved from her galamsey activities. Is that not better than allowing her to destroy our environment? My gosh, how can an unrepentant harlot claim to teach morality to a damsel only flirting with a man?

See you next week for another interesting konkonsa, Deo volente!